tv Headline News RT August 3, 2013 10:00am-10:30am EDT
i. think. the surveillance control vis a spirals in the u.k. amid new revelations naming three telecom giants who were allies who allowed a british intelligence agency to look through private data of millions of clients. and in the u.s. debate over mass surveillance is swept under the carpet while whistleblower edward snowden dominates the headlines. and america calls on its citizens to stay away from the middle east in light of a major al qaeda terror threat if some experts say washington's policies in the region continue to fuel resentment.
international news and comment watching r.t. coming to you live from moscow with me andrew farmer now there have been further revelations in the ongoing spy scandal in the u.k. the world's major telecommunication firms have been working alongside a british intelligence agency handing over swathes of private data documents leaked by u.s. whistleblower edward snowden suggests that the rise in business vodafone cable and bt were among those who gave g c h q unlimited access to their network of cables their collaboration allowed the agency to harvest millions of phone calls e-mails and facebook conversations and this comes in the wake of reports that america's national security agency is generously funded by british surveillance details now from r.t. sara furphy joins me live. can you tell us more about hall how all this works.
well some big names in there for the telecommunications companies bt vodafone cable verizon business these three big companies along with four other smaller companies have been named now those companies operate a huge share of the high capacity undersea fiber optic cables and that carries data from millions of users now back in june the guardian newspaper had revealed details of an operation named tempera that had it was alleged been looking at the data hoovering programs from the british spy agency g c h q and that had said that these companies were able to access these companies fiber optic cables and access that huge chunk of information that was being carried in and store it for thirty days now the revelations from a german newspaper have alleged to reveal the most sensitive nature of that operation temper and that's the names of the commercial companies that were allowing that information to be passed along and they all had top secret code names
and now this is of course data that's been found from that chunk of information released by whistleblower edward snowden prior to his gaining asylum in russia and as more people go through that documentation more of this information is revealed so top secret code names allegedly be teacake name dramedy verizon business allegedly create name dacron not some of the companies have actually come back in the wake of these claims and have said that the questions relating to national security are for governments to answer not for the telecommunications companies but bt spokesman reported as having said they can reassure customers they are complying with the law and not disclosing customer data in any jurisdiction and less legally required to d. so now under the one nine hundred eighty four telecommunications act these companies can be compelled to cooperate with the. ments and passed along that
information if legally required to do so the question for privacy advocates right now is going to be whether or not these big companies are actually challenging enough when asked to parse over this big chunk of information and of course huge questions going to be asked for clarity a very exactly his information is being passed along and why and that's going to be a real question for customers in the wake of these claims and these are the only revelations are they about g c h q that we've heard this week either yes this is just the latest in a sense of revelations that look into the level and scope of snooping by u.s. and u.k. intelligence agencies and indeed the degree of cooperation between the two countries now some of the recent revelations say that a g c eight he had actually been funded by washington to the tune of one hundred million pounds now that was for a period of over three years and these payments made to secure access to british
intelligence gathering programs and in return it's a list the g c h q were required to quote pull its weight so again another big question mark there a the degree of cooperation between the two and as we said this is all information coming out from that pride chunk released by the whistleblower edward snowden and so huge questions remaining of course the clarification of what exactly has been accessed and who's information has been access and this latest revelation and the naming of those telecommunications companies and other where the environment a real headache for downing street and you see it here and as those communications companies obviously going to be fearing a backlash from their customers over those alleged breach of privacy ok thank you so that's artie sara furth live from london thank you. well the british us tit for tat spy affair is nothing new to former m i five officer who says that in the last few years it's added a whole new dimension one thing that people tend to forget is there's an old
program of mutual assistance which was called echelon which was exposed in the one nine hundred eighty s. and then fed into the european parliament in the one nine hundred ninety eight which led to a report that said that europe should develop its own standalone internet infrastructure not depend on the u.s. infrastructure of course this came up just before nine eleven. in sort of security panic that happened afterwards so this is resistance has been going on for decades let's have no doubt about that and it's also been a very good way for the n.s.a. . to circumvent domestic laws and domestic warrant she requirements so they can spy on each other and then feed each other the same information they needed back without having to go through the courts so it's been quite a corrupt relationship these revelations that came out in the guardian take it to a whole new level we are now looking at g.h.q. effectively prostituting itself to the n.s.a.
while the scope of american led surveillance is raising eyebrows across the globe nothing has been done on capitol hill to curb the practices are to. explains what the government is doing to plug the voices of discontent both at home and abroad. while edward snowden as the messenger remains the focus of everybody's attention the u.s. government is trying to kill his message or at least contain it senior intelligence officials have testified in congress so boring everything is done in accordance with the law congress has already killed the bill that would make the n.s.a. walk back some of its powers so as of now no concrete steps have been taken to rein in n.s.a. surveillance but call for reform keep coming lawmakers are putting forward new initiatives earlier this week the president met with members of congress specifically to discuss slashing and paying this down though of course attacking snowden is much easier for the white house defending the surveillance state and
here's what president obama said about that just in the wake of snowden's revelations and if people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust congress and don't trust. federal judges to make sure that we're biding by the constitution due process and rule of law then we're going to have some problems on that trust issue a gallup poll shows fifty three percent of americans now disapprove of the government surveillance programs thirty seven percent approve another poll by the quinnipiac university conducted just in the wake of snowden's revelations shows forty five percent of americans say the government's anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far restricting civil liberties three years ago that percentage was twenty five so it's a massive shift in attitudes but is longer snowden's own destiny remains the top story it will be much easier for the government to sweep the debate under the rug in washington i'm going to. how again from reporters without borders things
washington's tough stones on edward snowden dissuading any potential whistle blows from coming forward but just would like to remind you there. the last fare of war of war against we saw glowers scenes. which was abducted in one thousand nine hundred seventeen. prosecution have been launched against we so blowers have been under the obama administration it's clear that the obama administration hopes that the war will discourage any potential we saw glow or to reveal any information that you also have to understand that here and us any information related to national security is considered a secret is considered classified so everything is classified so it's really easy to become a creamy knol in the eyes of the obama administration if you're revealed any
information which are related to national security but i would snowden has not only made it into the media headlines he's also become a hero in the new video game a new smartphone app called snowden run three d. puts a digital version of the whistleblower in a never ending chase what looks like to be a cia agent in the game a man on the run is collecting u.s.b. sticks on laptops containing secret information if if caught the digital snowden gets a one way ticket to guantanamo bay in a call to uncle putin is an option which drops a hydrogen bomb on the chase or whoever can help him avoid this scenario and there's always a restart button available which allows players to try get. thank god. thank you. now a suicide attack on the indian consulate in afghanistan has left at least nine people dead and around twenty injured in the latest case of violence against
civilians a recent u.n. report shows a staggering hiking casualties among nonmilitary in the country but the media tell us a passing one thousand three hundred people thought to be that day from the university of north korea says the taliban only one sympathy among locals because of the u.s. military operation but western forces are to neutral. you couldn't actually recall who came and gone into the english problem legal communities and never tried to understand their needs and instead of trying to intimidate the deer defined down to one judge who is of. a stated who was not large and. later created the scene. in this meeting the first c.e.o.
have to actually in our. tradition the local or regional you have to be in the confidence it is only one stage to argue that the developing countries are incapable only to joggle problems. well afghanistan is among twenty one countries where the u.s. has decided to close its embassies on sunday mid thirty's of an al qaeda terror threat most of the nations are in the middle east and it's not yet clear when the facilities will reopen washington has also issued a worldwide travel alert author and historian gerald horne says america's regional policies have backfired. i think that what this alert basically reflects is the fact that the united states' policy in the part of the world has backfired for example in syria united states has basically encouraged if not supported a war against the damascus based regime of all assad this is involved
a number of u.s. nationals and european nationals going into syria to fight with the so-called jihad this is given to shut me armed to our. back forces as such as they are in syria which is tied to al qaida in iraq which tend to lie a smoke has been engaged in a spate of car bombings in baghdad in the surrounding region so it seems to me the state department alert basically reflects a failure of u.s. policy. well the fear of a terror attack isn't just specific to the middle east with america feeling under constant threat but as are to be martin discovered sometimes the government chooses to turn a blind eye is a preview of what's coming up in breaking the set it's three thirty pm g.m.t. . while we focus on the threat of terrorism abroad seems like things are missed here at home exactly what my next guest has experienced first hand as she worked as a customs and border protection officer on the border of mexico we had very specific alerts there on fourth of july two thousand and four members of al qaeda
were planning to cross the borders into the united states using our land borders was mexico and on that day i saw that twenty three people from terrorist countries where allowed to enter the united states and none of the proper checks were done they were not enrolled in any databases no one bothered to take their fingerprints they were pretty much just flashed across and no one knew about it when i brought it up to the port director who told me to take it to intel along the hold on this date of special importance everyone in intel was given the day off their door was closed and i reported this to the f.b.i.'s joint terrorism task force and myself became the enemy of the state for embarrassing homeland security and so instead of investigating that which they closed was no action annoying investigation they opened fifty four investigations against me and they sent a black hawk helicopter to raid my home they had my husband and i twice maliciously prosecuted and imprisoned and we had to fight back to clear our name.
never seen anything like that. and that's breaking this is a little later on terrorist violence in the middle east is also taking its toll on smaller communities in the region a militant jihadist group affiliated with al qaida is holding some two hundred kurdish civilians hostage in syria following an attack which claimed the life of one leader. as this report. considering the complexity of syria you have to understand that there are dozens of groups of people who are divided by either faith or nationality or ethnicity all of them are also involved in this bitter battle which has been going on in the country for the last couple of years kurds are among the biggest ethnic groups kurds how are actually the largest nation in the world that does not have a state the dream of statehood is something that kurds have entertained for
hundreds of years they are originating in iraq turkey and in syria now increasingly kurds in syria are coming under under extreme pressure from the radical groups which have permeated syria and are affiliated with al qaida recently severe clashes have broken out in several villages on the border between syria and turkey primarily in the northern all the province several hundred kurds have been taken hostage by fighters of all loser front and they are also helping videos posted on the internet which claim to be pictures of kurds who have come under attack from the from the extremists truly horrific pictures now the kurdish militia house call them kurds in the region to unite in their struggle against the radical islamists or to lead it with al qaida forces are also dreaming of their own state and it's not other than syria that they're planning to initiate their state out in fact
they're saying they're going to get right to it's immediately after ramadan ends and that is just in a week's time so the situation in that region is in creative incredibly harsh and literally boiling at this point as we're having this very having again hundreds of people abducted from their homes. we're also hearing about people being killed just for the simple reason that they're kurds and it really doesn't seem like anybody is especially paying attention primarily the western media there is very little information on the subject if you try to look for it. the allen simo is a representative of the foreign affairs and relations office i think kurdish democratic union party in syria and he thinks militants an arizona tingting brutal tactics of desperation it would be for that did not mean is that as these terrorist groups are using in there and they cannot. resist. that defend of the kurdish forces because the kurdish forces on the ground
protecting themselves they are not that at getting anybody and all the kurdish people now are supporting them and they are defending themselves and these groups are failing and they are running away from their acts and therefore they are using this as a metal door to kidnap and horsed people. and in that end of the day there will exchange be survey of the arctic meet to exchange. a new president has taken the reins of power in iran coming up hassan rouhani has been officially endorsed by the country's really just a leader made questions about whether the west is really trying to make the most of a fresh start this story after a quick break. do
welcome back now a son rouhani has just been endorsed by iran's supreme leader to become the country's next president and officially take the oath of office in parliament on sunday but hani promised reform and and then to the country's international isolation as part of his election election platform he's an ogre. comes a day after he marched with millions of iranians to mark day in support of the palestinian people with me now live is professor side mohammad randi of tehran university thanks very much for coming on to the program today how important is this because the supreme leader will still hold the reins of power wednesday. well the leader ayatollah harmony is the most important figure in the constitution
he himself is elected by a body that is itself elected by the public but the president is obviously a very important figure very important powers and what's interesting is often when the western media when it's convenient they say he's powerless when it's not they say he's a threat like the former president. many of the hostilities that were directed towards iran and the. sanctions were often. based upon animosity towards him they would call him a threat and therefore they would justify hurting ordinary iranians but here's a very powerful figure he is the second most important person in iran and he has the vote over half of iranians and then there were elections that had a very high turnout over seventy two percent almost seventy three percent he was elected wasn't he partly on a promise to bring iran back in from isolation do you think that means it will
include negotiating with the west over the nuclear program. well he he didn't promise anything he basically said that he would work hard to remove the sanctions and obviously i'm sure he feels that iran is not isolated as the majority of the international community has always supported iran such as the nonaligned movement but he did say that he would strive hard and he hopes for success in achieving results in the negotiations with the five plus one. but of course the iranians are skeptical as to whether the united states really wants to resolve the issue because on the eve of president rouhani is in our gratian the united states passed new sanctions against ordinary iranians to make ordinary iranians suffer and the u.s. government the president really did nothing about it so either the u.s.
president is for these sanctions or he is really not a very powerful figure in the united states and does not have the ability to stop congress but in any case there on the presidency dr rohani will. just by being a new president and having bringing in new energy new ideas i think that will help . non-western countries move closer towards iran some regional countries like turkey and saudi arabia will or may move towards rapprochement with iran in the case of turkey stronger relations and in the case of saudi arabia detente maybe and some european countries will i think wish to move closer to running that i think itself will isolate the united states to a degree do you think i mean talking about the e.u. in general you mentioned the u.s. there are major negative comments big g. think they will take the opportunity to try marine gauge now with iran at all in any positive way. that's hard to say i think that countries like china and
russia brazil and the brics countries independent countries will definitely use this as an opportunity to move away from the united states and move and ignore u.s. pressure for sanctions and i think regional countries will also many of them will use this as an opportunity as well to a degree the u. the u. is the same i think countries like italy are already making moves to improve ties with iran but the united states is a is a different country altogether it's a different situation the united states really hasn't behave rationally towards iran for a very long time you run ins have negotiated with united states in the past he will call the axis of evil after negotiations the united states directs its sanctions at ordinary people it's tried to shut down the central bank and even prevent iran from importing medicine and food over the last year and
a half which has led to deaths so the u.s. intentions towards iran and the u.s. and u.s. behavior towards iran has been something that has. been the key problem if the united states is willing to take this opportunity to really evaluate its policies towards iran and take a serious step toward the iranians and president rouhani will definitely be willing to make a positive move themselves and to move towards rapprochement ok we do have to leave it there thank you very much for your thoughts professor side mohammad marandi of tehran university thank you. al qaeda is chief has criticised islamist groups in egypt for taking part in democracy saying legitimacy lies only wish a law. also accused washington of conspiring with the egyptian military to overthrow mohammed morsi meanwhile
a police official says the muslim brotherhood can remain a part of the political process if it support is abandon their mass sit ins artie's bell true brings us the latest from the divided country. what is extremely tense here is of course we've had this sort of forty hour deadline from interior ministry he said after two days they will erect this is a barricade around these two sit ins for. in the capital they said this will mean that people can leave the city and then i go to enter it's a kind of the seating now in the run up to this we have had to mass protests in support of the deposed leader across the country thirty four marches in toto one of them which ended on in the media production city which is in six were pretty big districts of the capital resulted in clashes with security forces three take gas the protesters they have been attempting to have a new sit in
a hundred apparently built barricades as well as record six tents which is why the security forces cracked down on mats speaking to protesters today in one of the main sit ins here in the capital they tell me that they will think about possibly setting up a new sit ins like this one the media city if these big cities here to another city and the keys are all cleared by the security forces in the next few days it's very tense here with a heavy deployment of troops on the military and expected clashes on the horizon when the interior ministry takes the plunge and actually does trying to back you make these people because there are a lot of people in the streets in support of the ounce to be that they really are tens of thousands of you know women and children who are in these sit ins and you think go in all guns blazing it will be a bloodbath so we have to see how the situation develops overnight and in the coming days. but coming up it's a look at the ancient custom of bloodlines seen russia's caucasus region and how the changing in the twenty first century that's the thing is.
she good lumber jury kirby was able to build on each most sophisticated robot which on fortunately doesn't a good. i don't learn about anything turns mission to teach me the creation of why you should care about humans and. this is why you should care only on the. basis of. economic ups and downs in the final months day belong to the old saying i and the rest because i make